laylah: a person's torso; the person wears black and has hands hooked in belt loops. the belt buckle is a silver cross. (every man a liar)
Saint Harridan is raising funds for a line of men's-styled suits that are designed to fit XX-chromosomed bodies.

I am incoherent right now about how much this means to me. I've always been of the "oh, it's just clothes" mold, and trying not to think about them any more than I had to. I'm genderqueer XX butch, with a body type that does not fit well into clothes made for XY shapes; my hips have never let me pass. Trying to shop for clothes has been an exercise in frustration, anxiety, and flat-out misery for years.

And now there's Saint Harridan. This post about their name made me wibbly when I first saw it, and now the kickstarter has me in tears.

Because this project, these clothes, say to me, Yes, you are allowed to be what you are. Yes, you deserve the chance to be stylish and fancy. You don't have to choose between physical discomfort and emotional discomfort to dress up.

If you can afford to kick them a few bucks, please do.
laylah: a person wearing high boots and a sleeveless shirt lounging with a book open in hir lap (storyteller)
So there's a story I've been poking at over the last few weeks, trying to coax it into shape for a deadline at the end of the month, and I think it's time to admit that it's defeated me. I'm trying to negotiate Here Be Dragons territory, and it's just too tricky for me to manage on a deadline.

The as-yet-nameless protagonist (first person lets one get away with that for a while) is of uncertain gender, you see. I know how the character presents, and what anatomy the character has, but not how that translates to identity. And depending on how I went with it, that could wind up being extremely problematic—because the character is also not entirely human.

If I decide I'm writing a butch lesbian, then the problem is somewhat ameliorated: she's a strange magical thing, but she's not the only lesbian in the story. The other woman is fully human and not a magical creature at all. She doesn't take on the complete-otherness stigma of having her sexuality represented by magical monstrosity.

If, on the other hand, I decide I'm writing a trans man, then I'm in trouble. He'd be the only trans character in the story, which means there are drastically unpleasant implications to having him be so inhuman that his true face scares the piss out of someone. It becomes way, way too easy to equate his monster nature with his gender, and holy mother of whores do I not want to go that direction.

Laid out like that it sounds like my choice is easy: like my protagonist should be a lesbian, end of discussion. Except that doesn't feel right. Pinning this character down to a female identity leaves me feeling unsettled and unhappy. Am I writing too close to my self, here, trying to write a character who's somewhere in that no-man's-and-no-woman's-either-land, maybe shifting, maybe just straddling a line? Would I be better off trying to just discipline myself and write it as straight-up (ha) lesbian fic? Is it worth trying to wrestle this gator to the ground and find a way to write it as trans fic without making it gross?

I don't think I have any chance of getting answers to this one quickly. Probably I'm going to have to shelve this draft and let it stew—and write something else for that deadline.

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laylah: an illustration from  Through the Looking Glass: a black kitten pawing at a ball of yarn. (Default)
Laylah Hunter

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